Sloppy steering - Impala Tech
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Sloppy steering

Drives straight, just a lot of wheel play
It's not solid. I can move it like 2 inches before it turns. No leaks, fluid level is good, just looking for ideas.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 09:21 AM
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Yes that is a known problem with all GM cars before 1985. Chevrolet designed the steering so that granny Goodwitch could steer the car with her little pinky, offering no feed back whatsoever.

Your hydraulic ram assisted power steering, if you have a 1958-'64 car is probably the worse offender, but the 1965-'84 wasn't much better. You didn't mention model year or car model which does affect the advise you receive as I have no idea what you have from the information you have provided. Over time the cars changed as technology changed allowing the car to made cheaper and heavier every year in response to market forces.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 09:50 AM
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Yes, like Big Dave said, Impalas were made from 1958 on. So give us a clue?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 09:08 AM
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I believe you have a '62. Just have the Steering Box re-adjusted.

That's all it may need.

BUT, have the complete Front End checked over first. You may have some worn parts that could be contributing to the play.

I've driven Chevys from '55 to '72 with no problems other than a minor adjustment here and there on the earlier ones. Later ones ('65-'72) never gave me an ounce of trouble through the years. Never even needed an adjustment.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 02:21 PM
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for 1958 to 1963 you have a Control valve and power Cylinder configuration. Should check that the system has no leaks for starters. If it doesn't then the system may just need to be bled. Unfortunately you will not find many garages that know how to work on these systems, but if that doesn't fix the issue then you may need to over haul the control valve and/or power cylinder. The 1961 passenger car shop manual covers this pretty good, but it is a fairly intensive and time consuming process. New parts are available, but they are pretty pricey. The other option is to buy the upgrade to a later style power steering system.

On 1964 and up I have never had any problems with the gear boxes other than a leak in a hose on occasion.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 04:28 PM
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The same parts were retained on the Corvette up until 1982. So a Corvette specialty repair shop in your town; or a restoration parts house could help diagnose or offer parts to swap.

As mentioned above once you open the hydraulic system up to replace a part it has to be bled. If not you risk the steering wheel breaking your arm as the steering violently oscillates from bump stop to bump stop back and forth.

Big Dave
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